Q: At the Naval Academy last week you spoke of a midshipman named Edward Slavis, who graduated and has served in Iraq. And you quoted him as saying that the mission will be a success, and 20 or 30 years from now historians will look back on it and consider it America’s golden moment. I’m wondering, sir, if you agree with that assessment, and, if so, why?

THE PRESIDENT: I do, David, because I believe that as a result of the actions we have taken, we have laid — begun to lay the foundation for democratic movement that will outlast this administration; a democratic movement that will bring peace to a troubled part of the world. …

You know, I reminded people that because Japan is a democracy, Japan is now a great friend, we work together on big issues, and yet it wasn’t all that long ago that we warred with Japan. In other words, democracies have the capability of transforming nations. That’s what history has told us. And I have faith in the ability of democracy to transform nations. And that’s why, when I talked about Iraq earlier, that we’ve laid the — begun to lay the foundation for a democratic, peaceful Iraq. Someday an American President is going to be dealing with an Iraqi — elected Iraqi President, saying — or Prime Minister, saying, what we can we do together to bring peace to the region? In other words, it’s a platform for peace. And, yes, I do believe — I agreed with the man. ~Editor and Publisher

A few pointers for the delusional Dobleve. History does not “tell” us anything. The events of history are interpreted, and we are the ones who lend meaning to them. Second, Japan has been peaceful because it has been legally hamstrung from being otherwise, its people have been made to feel ashamed of national pride for sixty years and it has found diversion in making a great deal of money. Change any of those elements and Japanese democracy will encourage the most virulent nationalist and expansionist politics and have no means to stop such attitudes from developing. Democracy did not change Japan–having the country devastated, occupied and dominated by a foreign power did that. As far as I’m concerned, in many ways it is an open question whether Japan is the better for the change. Third, if Iraq is our golden moment, I shudder to think of what our Age of Iron will be like.